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A Trip to Santa Barbara Castle

April 12, 2017
by Alvaro Sánchez

The Alicante group visited the emblematic Santa Barbara castle in Alicante. It stands on Mount Benacantil (166m) from where it can be seen Alicante bay providing a high strategic value for those who were settled there. Furthermore, a local legend relates that the history of two characters, Alí and Cántara, which hundreds of years ago lived at the castle gave name to Alicante (Ali + Cantara = Alicante).

It was a warm winter day; our trip began at the meeting point located next to the foot of the Benacantil Mountain. Once we were all together, the ascension started. We passed by old town neighborhoods like Santa Cruz known for its winding and narrow streets as well as it's colorful and original houses, while taking our students to the Castle.

 The tour begins

Once reached the Revellín del Bon Repos, we entered passing by the fortress to the Taberna and Cuerpo de Guardia,where there are exhibitions of objects from different civilizations that settled in the castle years ago. Next, we arrived to Plaza de Armas which is a square situated in the middle of the fortress.
 Where the ancient people once stood

We could see the history of civil war prisoners through their writings on Baluarte de la Reina. The next place we went into was Cuartel de la Tropa, Where were placed the flags of the old noble families of the city. Then we passed by the Ermita de Santa Bárbara who is the patron saint of Alicante.

In the last part of the tour, we went to Calabozos (cells) where a video showed us a history occurred during Succession War which faced Philip V and Archduke Charles. In 1708 the knight Asfeld with French troops, who supported Philip V, they dug a cave in the mount and filled it with dynamite. Once the English troops knew Asfeld plan, they refused to give up. The result was the destruction of a part of the wall and twenty English soldier’s death. After that, English soldiers gave up.
 What a view

To finish our visit we walked to the highest place of the Castle (called Macho del Castillo) passing by the Alcazaba Medieval and Casa Del Gobernador where views of Alicante surroundings city were second to none.

Alvaro Sánchez is the Program Director.
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